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Clarkson University’s First Robotics Team Receives $2,000 From NYPA

[A photograph for newspaper use is available at]

“NYPA’s continued support of Clarkson University’s FIRST program has been instrumental in the team’s success,” remarked Fred Stone, director of Clarkson University’s SPEED (Students Projects for Engineering Experience and Design) program. The SPEED program provides a unique opportunity for Clarkson University’s undergraduate students to work with and mentor students from two area high schools, Massena and Salmon River, in engineering, science and technology. “The students of Massena and Salmon River high schools are the ones that benefit directly from NYPA’s support,” Stone added. nypacheck2005

The FIRST Robotics Competition is an exciting, multinational competition that teams professionals and young people to solve an engineering design problem in an intense and competitive way. The program is a life-changing, career-molding experience — and fun for the students. In 2005 the competition reached close to 25,000 high-school-aged students. Teams from Brazil, Canada, Ecuador, Israel, Mexico, the U.K., and almost every state in the U.S. competed. The competitions are high-tech spectator sporting events, the result of lots of focused brainstorming, real-world teamwork, dedicated mentoring, project timelines, and deadlines.

Colleges, universities, corporations, businesses and individuals provide scholarships to FIRST participants. Engineers involved in the SPEED program experience again many of the reasons they chose engineering as a profession, and the companies they work for contribute to the community while helping to prepare and create their future workforce. The competition illustrates to students that the technological fields hold many opportunities and that the basic concepts of science, math, engineering and invention are exciting and interesting.

The FIRST Robotics Competition challenges teams of young people and their mentors to solve a common problem in a six-week timeframe using a standard "kit of parts" and a common set of rules. Teams build robots from the parts and enter them in a series of competitions designed by internationally renowned engineers and inventors Dean Kamen and Woodie Flowers, as well as a committee of engineers and other professionals. The competition has grown to include nearly 1,000 teams competing in 30 regional events. More than 8,500 high-school-aged young people participate in the championship competition held in Atlanta’s Georgia Dome.

One of the highlights of the FIRST Robotics Competition is the awarding of educational scholarships to FIRST students. FIRST Scholarships impact lives and support the positive development of the nation's future workforce. During the 2004 FIRST Robotics Competition season, over 200 merit-based scholarship opportunities amounting to almost $5 million were available to eligible FIRST high school participants. In partnership with FIRST, Clarkson University awards up to 12 merit-based scholarships to students who have participated on a FIRST team. Each scholarship recipient will receive up to $6,000 per year for four years upon enrollment at Clarkson University.

PHOTO CAPTION: Carol Simpson, New York Power Authority (NYPA) regional manager of Community Relations presents a $2,000 check to Jay Trazkos, a Massena HS student and veteran of the Clarkson University FIRST Robotics Team. Shown in the photo (l) to (r) are: Will Chiaravalle, Clarkson sophomore Honors student; Matt Lanahan, Clarkson sophomore Honors student; Charlie Storrin, NYPA employee and FIRST Team 229 advisor; Carol Simpson, NYPA regional manager of Community Relations; Jay Trazkos, Massena HS student; Brian Trazkos, Massena faculty member and FIRST Team 229 advisor; Fred Stone, Clarkson SPEED director; and James Carroll, associate professor of ECE and FIRST Team 229 advisor.

[News directors and editors: For more information, contact Annie Harrison, Director of Media Relations, at 315-268-6764 or]

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